(Source: Manila Bulletin | November 20, 2018)
Swedish home furnishing retailer IKEA has announced that it will be opening the largest IKEA store in the Philippines by end of 2020 at the Mall of Asia complex in Manila.
IKEA’s managing director for Southeast Asia Christian Rojkjaer, said they have entered into a long-term lease with the SM Prime Holdings Inc. for the property through its local unit Ikano (Philippines), Inc.
He said that the Manila store will be around 65,000 square meters selling functional home furnishing products at affordable prices.
It will be as big as 150 basketball courts – almost double the size of a typical IKEA big blue-box, he said.
The five-floor building will be similar to other IKEA stores, but only the first two floors will be for brick-and-mortar shop. The other floors will house a call center and a supersized warehouse to accommodate e-commerce operations.
When the Swedish-owned store opens at the end of 2020, Rojkjaer said millions of people in Greater Manila will also be able to shop online and get orders delivered direct to their doorsteps.
IKEA Southeast Asia’s initial investment of around P7 billion will be used to fit out, stock, market, and staff the first store for its opening. The company plans to hire around 500 Filipino co-workers and will create hundreds of spin-off jobs and business opportunities.
IKEA is now looking for local partners to support operations in areas such as food supply, transport, waste management, security, and more.
Rojkjaer also raised the possibility of sourcing products from local enterprises.
“We have around 9,000 well-designed, functional home furnishing products that can help people make everyday life at home a little better. All at an affordable price,” he added.
The self-serve warehouse has flat-packed products ready to be taken home the same day. Parents can drop off kids at a supervised playroom and there is also a restaurant with meals for the whole family.
SM Prime President Jeffrey C. Lim said the IKEA store will be built on Block 4 of MOA Complex. There will be link bridge ways connecting it to nearby developments.
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